2. Nokia's Population Problem
Shares of the flailing phone-maker sank 16% on Wednesday to $4.20 a share after it warned that competition will hammer its first- and second-quarter results. The company's stock has lost more than half its value in the past year and over 80% of its market cap in the past 5 years.Nokia didn't really offer much in terms of guidance for Wall Street analysts to chew on either, merely offering that operating margins in Q1 were "approximately negative 3%, compared to the previously expected range of 'around break-even, ranging either above or below by approximately 2% points." Whatever that means. Nevertheless, Wall Street's fortune tellers don't really need a crystal ball, let alone clear estimates to figure out Nokia's future anyway. Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and Google's (GOOG) Android pretty much sealed it a long time ago, and the company is now betting its continued existence on its new Windows-based Lumia smartphone. Quick joke: How do you say Research in Motion (RIMM) in Finnish? Answer: Nokia. (And vice versa of course for all you Canadian speakers. EH! You hosers!) But that's not the only chuckle we got when we were perusing Nokia's less than amusing release. We also got a snort when the company cited "multiple factors" as negatively impacting sales of cellphones "particularly in India, the Middle East and Africa and China." So, in other words, the company that hails from a tiny nation of just over 5 million souls is having a tough time selling its products in countries with populations that add up to approximately 4 billion people. That's a serious problem in any language.